Adoption can be a difficult, expensive, and time consuming process. In those regards, the process of adoption actually has a lot in common with parenting. Many prospective parents who choose to go through the adoption process have been dreaming of a child for years. Cutting through the red tape and getting on with being a mom or dad can be tempting. This may make the option of taking in a child through “re-homing” appealing, but re-homing can be misleading, damaging to a child, and even illegal. That is why it is so important to work with an experienced adoption attorney and go through the hoops of a legal and safer adoption.
What is “Re-Homing”?
“Re-homing” is the process by which a child's parent or parents decide that they no longer wish to care for their child, be the child a baby or teenager. Thus, they sign custody of the child over to a third party, often a stranger. The parents do this by exploiting the area of law designed to help parents who need to temporarily ask a family member or friend to care for their children. The law allows for a parent to sign custody of their children over to a guardian. These laws are wonderful in cases where a parent has to move for a job but wants his or her child to be able to stay with a friend's family to finish out the school year. This also helps provide stable homes with family members when a parent has to be hospitalized or is incarcerated.
Re-Homing Can Hurt Children and Leave Parents Unprepared
These same laws are now being exploited by people without pure motives. This can result in children being shuffled from home to home without his or her caregivers being vetted. While adopting out of the foster care system requires parents to go through background checks, no such measures are in place where re-homing is concerned.
It is also a bad idea for the guardians receiving the child, because they often do not know what they are getting into. Even if they have the best intentions in the world and love the child dearly, they have no way of knowing the child's true history or what sort of special needs the child may have. Adopting a special needs child through the proper channels means that the parents would have access to at least some information about the child's history and resources to help them deal with those needs. Re-homing does not provide those resources.
Re-Homing Can be Illegal
Under various circumstances, re-homing can be illegal. The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, which has been adopted by all 50 states and the District of Columbia, puts uniform requirements in place for transfers of custody across state lines. This law requires that in order to transfer the custody of a child to a person in a different state, the proper authorities in the state to which the child is being transferred must be notified. Failure to do this can be punished both in the state to which the child is being transferred and in the state from which the child is being transferred.
Call Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C.
If you are looking to grow your family through adoption, you are best served by seeking out the legal advice of an experienced Illinois adoption attorney at Sullivan Taylor & Gumina, P.C. We work with adopting parents regularly and can help you navigate through the process. Call us today at 630-665-7676.